The Leaving of the Twenty

In the history of the descendants of Bofin Oathkeeper, few events have left the skalds so divided as the actions of Bofingan Stoneheart and his Brave Companions, in what came to be known as The Leaving of the Twenty.

Arguably the greatest and most beloved of the Kings in Exile, Bofingan was a mighty warrior and served for over a century as general of the Dalarrak armies. Commanding both the respect of his troops and the Thorbadin diaspora, success followed success for Bofingan, yet always happiness eluded the noble dwarf. Bofingan was only too aware that no matter his accomplishments, his forefathers’ debt of honour to the far-flung Kingdom of Dalarrak would consume the best years of his life. Only after centuries of service, when the burden of leadership was passed to the next generation and Bofingan himself was too old and weak to succeed, would he be free to follow his family’s oath to seek out Thorbadin.

For centuries it had been thus for the Kings and Queens in exile, and in time each had made their own peace with the prison that honour had set for them. Yet such acceptance of failure did not sit well with Bofingan – his people deserved more from their King, even if the personal cost was a great one. So it was that the king, in the prime of his life, forsook his clan name and the responsibilities that accompanied it, passing both the title of King in Exile and the Heart of the Mountain to his young son Azgan. A Stoneheart no longer, Bofingan set off to find, and reclaim, his peoples’ home – no longer in his own name, but in the name of his sons.

Bofingan’s actions were a slap in the face to the Kingdom of Dalarrak, and deeply divisive even amongst his own people. Many considered his choice the height of hubris, so sure that he would be the one to reclaim the Golden Mountain that he would willingly shame his clan to do so. Yet others viewed Bofingan as the ultimate paragon – so selfless that he would sacrifice everything, even his own honour, to do what was right for his people. It was from these dwarves that The Twenty emerged.

The brightest luminaries amongst a generation of Thorbadin diaspora, the Twenty were drawn from clans both common and noble alike, all joined by one thing: an unflinching loyalty to their former king. Renouncing their clans and taking the mantle of outcasts, they vowed to follow Bofingan wherever he might lead, whether to Thorbadin or to their death. They would retake the Golden Mountain for their kin, though their dishonour meant they would never live within its walls.

The loss of so many paragons from Bofingan’s generation left a hole in the diaspora which is felt to this day, and as many curse his name as praise it. Bofingan and The Twenty left Dalarrack on the Pass of 3749, never to be heard from again. As years of silence turned into decades, the fires of hope amongst the diaspora have grown dim. There are those who still believe the former king and his Brave Companions will one day send word of their triumph, but many more who believe the outcast dwarves have fallen into oblivion. No memorial marks the warriors, but their names live on in the rolls of the skalds:

• Bofingan (once of the Stonehearts)
• Taldor (once of the Ironbloods)
• Osk (once of the Bloodhammers)
• Hyndbruin (once of the Feldsparks)
• Belbrina (once of the Feldsparks)
• Agamm (once of the Feldsparks)
• Belmeara (once of the Blackmountains)
• Nethrys (once of the Copperhelms)
• Rethrusra (once of the Goldenthumbs)
• Daurant (once of the Quarrymasters)
• Mith (once of the Stoneshields)
• Baergun (once of the Stoneshields)
• Obryn (once of the Hearthstones)
• Guthniia (once of the Deepaxes)
• Teshura (once of the Goldenthumbs)
• Marlvae (once of the Steelbringers)
• Helmaer (once of the Gemscepters)
• Typhana (once of the Stoneshoulders)
• Unidolfin (once of the Steelfires)
• Arnwold (once of the Rockfists)
• Dyarna (once of the Trueforgers)

The Leaving of the Twenty

The Stone-Hearted mepeterson